El Niño

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What is El Niño?

El Niño conditions are characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. Weather experts have been closely monitoring the increasingly warm temperatures since early 2015, giving them strong confidence to predict a strong El Niño.


El Niño conditions do not “cause” individual storms but rather influence their frequency and characteristics. This El Niño event is forecast to rival previous strong El Niño events, such as 1982/83 and 1997/98.


Download the Prepare now for the upcoming rainy season tip sheet for information on what to do before, during, and after the rains.


What does this mean for San Diego County?

For more information on El Niño conditions, visit the National Weather Service  El Niño Theme Page or view the El Nino and Western US and California precipitation Information Flyer.


El Niño can bring increased rainfall across Southern California, and in San Diego, this could increase the potential for flooding, mud slides and debris flow.


Protecting Your Property


The City will provide sand and self-fill sand bags in the event of inclement weather.  Please review the details below including location, hours of operation, and additional details:


Public Works Operations
Employee Parking Lot
1050 Vernon Way
El Cajon
(619) 441-1658

Hours: Mon - Thur, 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Alternate Friday, 6:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
*Please see the City website for alternate Friday closure dates.

Additional Details:

City of El Cajon residents ONLY

ID REQUIRED. (County residents should click the "County Sandbag Locations" link below regarding information for their area.)

Limit 10 per household.

*Assistance is available during the hours listed for those who have physical limitations.


Other Sandbag resources:

County Sandbag Locations

Other City Locations

For more information on flood debris and erosion control, view the Homeowner’s Guide for Flood, Debris, and Erosion Control.

Sandbags can help protect your property from major damage, but sandbags will not seal out water, which is why it is important to make sure your property is financially covered.



Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. It is important to have protection from the floods associated with heavy rains here in San Diego County. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is available to property owners to financially protect themselves.  Please keep in mind that flood insurance takes 30 days before it is in effect.

Also review your auto insurance policy, typically flood or water damage is only covered if you have comprehensive coverage.  Policies with liability only will not cover this type of damage.

Help the County Assess Damage

In order for the county to be awarded State of Emergency funds they request your assistance in assessing any storm damage.


Completion of this form will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs with the current event. Information will be used to determine the estimated dollar amount of disaster damages within the County and be used to determine if enough disaster damages have occurred to qualify for disaster assistance.


Completing this form is not a claim form and does not guarantee a disaster declaration will be received nor does it guarantee you will be eligible or receive disaster assistance. This is an informational gathering document that will be used to determine if disaster assistance is eligible based on the total amount of damages countywide.


Click here for a Damage Assessment Form


If you have any questions regarding information being collected or this form, email oes@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Understanding Your Flood Risk

Here is a map of the 100 year flood plain:


How Much Would a Flood Cost?


It only takes a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home or business and its contents. Learn more about the cost of flooding using this interactive tool.


Stay Informed


Register with AlertSanDiego


Sign up for the County’s regional emergency notification system to get alerts via phone, text message, and email with important emergency and disaster information.  Get signed up. Get notified.


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Install the SD Emergency Mobile App


The must – have preparedness app. The SD Emergency App contains disaster preparedness information, interactive checklists to help you to create your emergency plan, build an emergency supplies kit, and when disaster strikes; the SD Emergency App will keep you and your family informed with emergency updates, interactive emergency maps, and shelter locations.


Download the app today for iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play Store).


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Stay Connected - Follow Us


You can follow Heartland Fire & Rescue on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Nixle.


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*Some content provided courtesy of the County of San Diego